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Wesley Coburn

Wesley Coburn

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

Pre-enrollment for the 2017-18 school year at Morris Public Schools will be held at the high school cafeteria on Wednesday, August 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Thursday, August 3 from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. This is for all students, new and returning, from pre-K to high school. Enrollment after these dates is handled on an individual basis at the appropriate school building.

For each student registered, parents must have a Social Security card, immunization records, birth certificate, proof of residence, and if applicable, their CDIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card.

The high school is located at 307 S 6th, and the MPS number is 918-733-9072. The school year begins on Thursday, August 17.

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

 Maddie BIt’s not often that a national championship is won in anything, but a Tulsa college student recently claimed first place in a nationwide financial analysis competition held in Anaheim, California, from June 23-28. Madeline Soukup, who recently graduated from Tulsa Community College with an Associate of Science in international business, won the college-level division (Phi Beta Lambda, or PBL) of the Future Business Leaders of America’s National Leadership Conference last week. The only level of education barred from this competition were those with Ph.D degrees.

In the final round, participants, which may be either individuals or teams of up to three competitors, were given twenty minutes to analyze case studies of business plans, preparing a 5-7 minute presentation to a judging panel of how they would solve the problem.

To get to that final round, participants had to place first or second at state-level competitions, and then once they got to Nationals there was an hour-long hundred-question timed multiple-choice test, with the top fifteen scores advancing to the final round.

“On a skill level, participants must have a good working knowledge in finance theory,” Soukup stated, adding that while most competitors have extensive experience with college classes in finance, her learning experience in this field was self-taught.

This commitment to independent learning likely is because Madeline was homeschooled before graduating from Jenks High School; she has lived in and around the Tulsa area for most of her life.

This was her third national PBL trophy overall, previously garnering two others in economics, which she described as a “widely-applicable social science that considers how decisions are made by countries and individuals,” while finance is “more about how money works and the way it flows through firms.” She was an officer of the TCC PBL chapter this past year.

While at the conference, “I developed contacts all over the nation, made some wonderful new friends, grew closer to my fellow TCC competitors, went to fantastic guest speakers and workshops, and I got to visit a beach for the first time since I was three,” Soukup said. “The trip was absolutely incredible, I wouldn't trade it for anything.”

Madeline, an Honors student with a 3.9 GPA, is continuing her education this fall at the University of Tulsa, where she will double-major in economics and finance.


The highlight of Okmulgee’s Fourth of July celebration in Municipal Park is the fireworks show, choreographed by City Emergency Manager and licensed pyrotechnician Ken Anderson, with over thirty years’ experience in shooting commercial firework displays.

“You have to have numorous years of experience, and you have to be signed off by someone who knows you have the experience to operate the shells in a responsible way,” Anderson stated.

The displays, which consist of over a thousand shells, will be synchronized with music from John Phillip Sousa, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Broadway cast of Oklahoma!, Rodney Atkins, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and Blake Shelton.

The fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night, while the celebration begins at 7 p.m. Free hot dogs, popcorn and snow cones will be provided, while there will also be a shuttle service from the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Other attractions will include face painting, sand art, live music, a petting zoo and a waterslide.

“It’s a great event for the community, and it’s all free,” Mayor Steve Baldridge said.

Last year an estimated crowd of two thousand spectators attended the event.



Friday, 30 June 2017 13:22

MCN Festival held last weekend

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

The 43rd annual Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival was held this past weekend, with activities centered around the fairgrounds area, though events occurred throughout Okmulgee.

For the kids, there were bounce houses, a rock wall, a Tilt-a-Whirl, the Ferris wheel and Lightning McQueen and Mater from Pixar’s “Cars.”

Food vendors sold turkey legs, funnel cakes, frybread, roasted corn, barbeque, baked goods and Indian tacos.

Various MCN departments had vendor booths with informational material, including the Departments of Environmental Services and Health. The Department of Conservation set up a rainfall demonstration, seeking to educate visitors about proper soil-management techniques.

Arts and crafts vendors had T-shirts, cowboy hats, baseball caps, jewelry, flutes, metalwork, paintings and other items for sale. An art show was held Friday night in the Mvsokke Dome.

In sports, there were tournaments in basketball, horseshoes, softball and volleyball, with results to follow. This was in addition to the rodeo, which, despite a gate breaking down Friday night, went well.

IMG 0935The North Carolina-based southern rock band Delta Rae performed on the stage at 7 p.m. Friday night, their songs included “Chasing Twisters,” “Dance in the Graveyard,” “Outlaws,” and “The Wrong Ocean.”

Many audience members Friday night were attending the festival solely for the Lee Ann Womack concert at 9 p.m., including thirtysomething couple Heather and Greg, who had never attended the festival before. Mark and Ginger from Drumright also attended the concert, bringing friends of theirs from Texas. “My favorite part of the festival was the stomp dance, I’d never seen one before,” Ginger said. Womack performed songs including “Does My Ring Burn Your Finger?”, “Never Again Again,” “The Fool,” “Last Call,” and “You’ve Got to Talk to Me.”

Saturday afforded many options for attendees: in the morning there was a 5K and the parade down 6th Street, in the afternoon there was the Harlan Motors car show, and then Saturday night Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd performed on the main stage.

Mvskoke Media had a booth set up, and radio stations KOKL 1240 AM The Brew, K95.5 FM and KVOO 98.5 FM also attended.

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BY Wesley Coburn - ONN

Harlan Ford put on their first car show Saturday, June 24, and there were many attendees, likely in part bleeding over from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival held at the fairgrounds next door.

There were 137 vehicles that were entered, and 110 of those were judged.

The People’s Choice award went to Michelle Kennedy of 4WAYZ Car Club, with her 2012 Chevrolet Camaro painted like the character Bumblebee from the Transformers film series.

Best of Show, with a perfect maximum score of 150 points possible, was Lloyd Lang of Falcon Club of America, with his 1963 Ford F-Series unibody pickup. An Honorable Mention went to Bob Horn for his 1995 custom-painted Harley-Davidson Dyna Glide, the only motorcycle entered for judging.

A raffle raised over a thousand dollars for the Okmulgee Service League.

“We couldn’t have done it without our staff and sponsors, so a special shout-out to all of them for their hard work,” stated Andrew Harlan, finance and inventory manager.


Friday, 30 June 2017 13:14

Tdap vaccine required for 7th graders

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

It’s currently nearing the Fourth of July, but August - and with it the upcoming school year - will be here for Okmulgee County teachers, students and parents before they know it. As part of the immunization process, junior high students need proof of a Tdap vaccine before starting school.

Tdap is a booster vaccine that protects against tetnus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). It is commonly recommended for children ages 11-12, and required by Oklahoma law for incoming 7th graders.

Parents are requested to bring a copy of the immunization form on the first day of the 2017-18 school year.

preteen boy vac

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

The 43th annual Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival last weekend featured, as always, a fiercely-competitive softball tournament running from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening.

Thirty-one teams were entered in the men’s tournament, while twenty-five squads were on the women’s side of the bracket.

The Kansas Indians were the first-place team in the men’s division, coming out of the loser’s bracket to defeat Big Eagle Express, who had won every game they played previously. The third-place game was between Kansas City Sykos and the Southeast Indians, with the Sykos winning.

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Winning the women’s division were the Sundancers, who had a first-round bye and rolled through their opponents, defeating Pokko Nafkv in the final, while Chitto Harjo won their third-place game against the Beagles.

Other men’s teams competing included the All Americans, the Allniters, BHB, Cate Boys, Down-N-Dirty, Dye Hard, Fry Bread Nation, Gap It, the Goodfellas, Hog Creek, Indigenous, Just Us, Lil Hog Creek, Noo Trybe, O’Jays, the Oklahoma Hill Raiders, the Oklahoma Natives, OPVS, the Rebel Warriors, the Red Bandits, Redline, the Rez Sox, the Shawnee Indians, the Team Players, the Travelers, Tribal Brothers and the Warchiefs.

Other women’s teams competing included the Average Joes, Bext, BHB, the Cardinals, Chahtas, DS4JC Softball, HVPVTTAS, Lady MVP, KaKumbas, Nations, North Americans, the Oklahoma Indians, the Oklahoma Kuties, Red Nations, the Red Stars, the Renegades, Sga-Si-Yu, the Strokers, the Truckers, the War Ponies and the Wild Ponies.

Softball Women 1st

Softball Men 1st

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

The 43rd annual Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival was held last weekend, June 22-25, and part of the activities was a 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament on Saturday. Games were halfcourt and held in the Mvskoke Dome, with each basket worth one point, first team to 15 winning, or whichever team was ahead after 15 minutes, whichever came first.

First place in the 10-12 Boys division were the Warriors, followed by Tenetke, and in third place were the Redskins. First place in the 10-12 Girls division was Swish, with the Lady Raiders in second place and Holdenville Community in third place.

Another team called the Warriors won the 13-15 Boys division, they defeated 4 Honka Boyz in the finals, and the Flyers took third place. Native Thunder won the 13-15 Girls division by beating Elite in the finals, and another group of Lady Raiders took third place.

The 16-18 Boys division was won by the Native Hustlers, with Native Heat coming in second and Truth in third place. The 16-18 Girls division was captured by the Ballers, with the Scrubs finishing in second place and the Tribe in the third spot.


By Wesley Coburn - ONN

Many Okmulgee County athletes were named to VYPE Magazine’s Three Rivers All-Region teams in five different sports.

In baseball the Beggs Demons were represented by Levi Bouse, Cade Furer and Garrett Pendergrass, and they were joined by the Preston Pirates’ Eugene Kahbeah and Dakota Ray and the Okmulgee Bulldogs’ Jacob Barrett and Tyler Robol. Beggs made the Class 3A state tournament, falling 8-7 to Marlow and finishing with a 28-6 record. On the softball side of the diamond sports, Beggs was represented by Madeline Nuckolls, Lindsi Spring and Mallorie Wilburn; the 28-13 Lady Demons made their first state title appearance this season, falling 18-1 in the Class 5A first round to Tahlequah Sequoyah. The Morris Lady Eagles also made the 5A state tournament, they crushed Kellyville 27-2 before getting stopped 12-2 in the semifinals by Chandler. Colby Christian, Justice Frazier and Nakyla Monahawee led the Lady Eagles to a 34-3 record. Three Dewar Lady Dragons were also present on the All-Region squad: Morgan Britt, Deljah Jackson and Skyler Randall.

The Henryetta Knights dominated the tennis squad, for the boys Kanon Bailey, Jarett Day, Tyger Freeman, Jordan Knox, Keaton Lollis and Colton Wion were named, while Summer Bryant, Bailey Davis, Haley Glass, Rachel Montgomery, Fallon Rodgers and Natalie Smith represented the Lady Knights. At the Class 4A state tournament in Oklahoma City, Smith finished fourth in No. 2 singles, while Bryant and Montgomery also earned fourth place in No. 1 doubles. Knox was fifth in boys No. 2 singles, and Bailey and Lollis earned fourth place in doubles.

Morris’ Kamarie Wallace was the lone county athlete to make either All-Region track team, as she won bronze in the 3A 100 meter hurdles.

Beggs’ McKenzie McCoy and Clay White made the girls’ and boys’ All-Region golf teams, respectively, while McCoy was joined by Henryettans Abby Green and Nicole Robertson. McCoy also made All-State after finishing third place during the state tournament, while Henryetta was fifth in the team competition.       

Founded in Tulsa by former TU football player Austin Chadwick, VYPE Magazine covers high school sports in four states, broken into at least sixteen separate regional magazines.  


Wednesday, 21 June 2017 21:26

Okmulgee police investigate shooting

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

Shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, June 20, the Okmulgee Police Department responded to a report of a shooting near Lafayette and Miami. At the scene, police found Antonio Thierry, 32, with multiple gunshot wounds. A short time later, Darius McGee, 21, brought himself to Okmulgee Hospital. Both victims are from Okmulgee, and police believe they were shot in the same area. They were taken to hospitals in Tulsa, where their current status is unknown.

Investigators processed the scene and collected evidence. An investigation for further details is ongoing, though it is too early for a known motive or an exact understanding of what transpired. When known, further information will be distributed by police at an appropriate time.

Anyone with information on this event is encouraged to call the Okmulgee Police Department at 918-756-3511.

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